Watching the tragedy going on in Japan, one might normally wonder if the Iranians are having second thoughts about the Natanz reactor and the rest of their “peaceful” nuclear program, especially since the Japanese are light-years ahead of them scientifically and the Iranians have to rely on the Russians, who gave the world Chernobyl, for technical support. But it’s doubtful the Iranians would or could step backwards, considering the religious maniacs who control the country believe their beloved 12th Imam will appear in the midst of chaos. And they have chaos aplenty now.
Not surprisingly, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the man who informed us that there are no homosexuals in Iran, insists that their reactors are modern and earthquake proof (if not resistant to Israeli computer viruses), even though Wikipedia reminds us:
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.
They list nine Iranian earthquakes of 5.9 or above since 2002, all of which had fatalities and one of which — the 2003 Bam quake — claimed at least 30,000 lives.
With their overweening nuclear ambitions, the mullahs are as likely to blow up their own citizens (and plenty of them) as anybody else, given how things are going. Not that they would care. It’s all part of the chaos, don’t you know? And they evidently think their time — the Mahdi’s time — actually has come.
Toward that end, they are moving to take advantage of the global situation and up the chaos quotient. Tuesday we had this from the Christian Science Monitor:
Israel today seized the merchant ship “Victoria” 200 miles off its coast, asserting that it had a “solid basis’’ of suspicion that the vessel was ferrying arms shipments from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip that were “intended to hit Israel.”
The ship, which originated in Syria and was sailing to the Egyptian port of Alexandria, was diverted to the Israeli port of Ashdod following the takeover, which was met with no resistance from the crew. Israel’s naval commander said that the shipment contained land-to-sea missiles of “strategic importance” to Gaza and accompanying Farsi-language manuals.Though not the first time Israel has commandeered a weapons shipment to block arms to the Palestinians, the seizure comes amid rising unease in Israel that the turmoil sweeping the Middle East — especially Egypt — is creating an opportunity for Iran to widen its influence.
“The fact that Iran wanted to use an Egyptian port to unload the weapons is yet another clear indication that Tehran is trying to take advantage [of] the recent developments in the region, and Egypt in particular,” says Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian expert based in Tel Aviv.
“To Iran’s leadership, the changes in Egypt have now made it into a new land of strategic opportunities in many areas, including Iran’s support for Hamas,” Javedanfar adds.
Debka — while tooting its own horn, perhaps justifiably in this case — connects more of the dots:
The Liberian-flagged vessel was carrying a large consignment of weapons including C-704 shore-to-ship missiles with a range of 35 kilometers and heavy mortars shells bound for the Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip. DEBKAfile reports the consignment was picked up at the Syrian port of Latakia after being offloaded there by the two Iranian warships which transited the Suez Canal February 22.
The ship’s documents and crew showed the vessel had departed from Latakia Port in Syria before proceeding to Mercin Port in Turkey. At least three crates of weapons were uncovered on board. Hundreds of others will be inspected when the ship reaches Israeli port. The crew did not resist the Israeli naval commandoes who boarded the vessel.
The US and Israeli navies did not stop the Iranian Alvand missile destroyer and Kharg logistical cruiser when they applied to transit the canal last month, asserting that they could not be stopped as they were not carrying contraband weapons. Egyptian Suez Canal officials made the same determination after reporting they had been inspected. Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the voyage was no more harmful than a “cadets’ outing.”
DEBKAfile alone reported the Iranian warships were carrying missiles. It now turns out that the clean bill of health they all gave the Iranian warships was not based on fact.
We are shocked. Meanwhile, a New Documentary, produced by the Iranians and heralding the arrival of the Mahdi (as well as recommending the assassination of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, among others) is being distributed widely. A kind of low-rent Triumph of the Will replete with a robotic hostess — the Iranians put their best directors in prison — it is meant for a credulous Middle Eastern audience. But who can tell how it will be received or what will happen? The thugs who assaulted Lara Logan aren’t the most sophisticated audience. The documentary is worth watching for what it tells us of the frightening mentality of the filmmakers.
Sadly it was only a couple of years ago, 2009, that the Iranian Green Movement was at its height. It was then that that “great progressive” Barack Obama declined publicly to support the demonstrators. Despite the optimism of my best friends, the situation for freedom in Iran, at least in my view, has only gotten worse since President Passive preened in silence. The Japanese are not the only people waiting for the aftershocks.